Jakoah Brgoch, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a Robert A. Welch Professorship in High Temperature Superconductivity and Chemical Materials from the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH). The Robert A. Welch Foundation created the professorships to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, research faculty and visiting scientists.
The two-year appointment is effective Sept. 1.
“It is an honor to receive this prestigious professorship in recognition of my efforts in the discovery of energy-efficient materials,” said Brgoch. “Energy independence will require the development of new materials that are stronger, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. This support from the Welch Foundation will allow me to focus on the discovery of new materials that follow these principles and investigate compounds that are potential novel superconductors.”
Brgoch’s research involves the investigation of new materials with energy-related applications, including improving the efficiency of light conversion compounds called phosphors, which are critical for solid state-lighting devices. Additional research areas include magnetic materials required for wind turbines, materials with excellent wear-resistance and new gold-based catalytic compounds.
“TcSUH’s growing energy materials programs will benefit greatly from the work of Professor Brgoch,” said Allan J. Jacobson, TcSUH director and the Robert A. Welch Chair of Science in the UH chemistry department.
Brgoch draws on his expertise in experimental synthetic chemistry and computational modeling to understand the complex properties of these systems. By combining studies in varying disciplines, it expedites the discovery of novel and functional materials.
“Many researchers focus on discovering new materials,” Brgoch said. “By using computation and data-mining, it allows us to narrow the number of synthetic targets that need to be prepared and leads to more rapid discoveries.”